‘Utter joy’: Maeve O’Meara on her travels to Greece


Food Safari presenter Maeve O’Mara grew infatuated with Greek life and culture as a young adult. 

She says reading books about ancient Greek legends and tales captured her imagination as a young child.

“As a child growing up in the white-bread suburbs of Sydney, I adored reading books about Greek myths and legends.” 

“One book, Tales of the Greek Heroes, opens with the most astounding description of Greece with its ‘towering mountains sloping steeply into the bluest of blue seas’ and ‘valleys green and silver with the leaves of a million olive trees’.

“It captured my imagination and I couldn’t wait to see it for myself the first chance I got.” 

She eventually set off, aged 20, for the quiet forests of Corfu and the vibrant buoyancy of Cretan beaches. 

“…I felt utterly beguiled by its people, its landscape and its food as I travelled on a Eurail pass between islands,” O’Mara says.

“Most times, the ferry was met by locals offering rooms in their homes. What utter joy to enter a Greek home and be welcomed into the ebb and flow of Greek island life.”

“Over the decades that followed, I have returned to the Greek Islands many times, enjoying the freedom of hiring motor scooters and zipping around winding roads to perfect secret beaches, that incredible water so clear and buoyant you feel like a superhero and can swim forever. Santorini was the first island to capture my heart but, over the years, I’ve also grown fond of the tiny island of Folegandros, as well as Limnos.”

“That said, no matter which island you go to, you’ll get caught up in philoxenia, the Greek spirit of hospitality.”

“I’ve been taking travellers to Greece now for 20 years, each time introducing them to that special philoxenia across four islands, including Evia, Lesvos, Limnos and Chios. Some of my favourite places to visit? Stay at Fanari Villas in Santorini and the stylish Anemomilos on Folegandros, enjoy lobster folmari at Giannakaros Fish Taverna in Kotsinas, Limnos, and hike around Paleochora on the south coast of Crete. A walking track winds through rocky gorges and takes you to hidden beaches. Swim wherever you can – the colour, the buoyancy, it’s something you’ll remember forever.”

Source: Traveller




By subscribing you accept our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.


Latest News

Remains of the late Archbishop Stylianos of Australia’s father identified years after Nazi execution

The remains of the father of the late Greek Orthodox Archbishop Stylianos Harkianakis of Australia have been identified 83 years later.

Prespa Agreement signatories call on North Macedonia to respect deal

Former prime ministers of Greece and North Macedonia, Alexis Tsipras and Zoran Zaev, called on North Macedonia to respect Prespa Agreement. 

Acropolis closed as Greece hit by earliest heatwave on record

Greece closed its most popular tourist site, the Acropolis, on Wednesday as the country experiences its earliest heatwave on record.

Emmanuel Karalis secures silver medal at European Athletics Championship

Emmanuel Karalis secured the silver medal in the pole vault final held on the last day of the European Athletics Championships in Rome.

George Diakomichalis keeps family traditions alive at Kalymnos Pastries in SA

Are you looking for somewhere to indulge in authentic Greek sweets and pastries? If so, then Kalymnos Pastries might just be the place.

You May Also Like

Yorgos Lanthimos’ film wins Golden Globe for ‘Best picture — Musical/Comedy’

Poor Things directed by Yorgos Lanthimos has today won a Golden Globe award for 'Best picture — Musical/Comedy.'

Paradise Lost: The Kytherians in Smyrna and the Catastrophe of 1922

George Vardas writes for The Greek Herald - Paradise Lost: The Kytherians in Smyrna and the Catastrophe of 1922.

Adrian Christemou’s brewpub brings taste of Greece to rural Queensland

Two chefs opened a Greek-inspired brewpub and restaurant restoring local tourism in the Queensland suburb of Forest Glen.